What is the meaning of this sentence?

He never had taken nor will ever take such strong measures.

Can never and nor be used in the same sentence?

  • 4
    Actually, if you use "never" and "nor" in the same sentence, God strikes you down. But he has never done this to me, nor will he!
    – CHEESE
    Aug 13, 2016 at 14:52

2 Answers 2


This sentence structure is absolutely acceptable grammatically. I do accept that nor generally is paired with neither, but it need not be the only combination possible.

There is an explanation about the word 'Nor' found in Grammar.com and it goes as follows:

Nor After Negatives

The conjunction nor can serve either as a coordinating conjunction or as part of the correlative conjunction neither . . . nor. As a coordinating conjunction, it can join a complete independent clause. When used in this way, it continues the negative state in the preceding clause (usually shown by not, no, never, etc.). Here we see its role in continuing a negative state.

He left and I never saw him again, nor did I regret it. Random House, p. 1321.

The word nor also joins elements in a series within a given clause. It can appear even if a negative state already exists. At least according to Random House, the word nor can follow other negatives:

They won’t wait for you, nor for me, nor for anybody. Random House, p. 1321.

The sentence in question, "He never had taken nor will ever take such strong measures," makes perfect sense.

The person has never ever taken any measure of such a scale (strong measures), and he is not inclined to in the future also.

  • 2
    A famous example of "nor" with a negative word that doesn't even begin with "n": "The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here." Nov 12, 2016 at 7:01

Yes. The sentence conveys two assertions:

  • He never had taken such strong measures.
  • He will not ever take such strong measures.

The "nor" emphasizes the negative about him ever taking such strong measures, up front, so that the audience doesn't have a chance to doubt that that's the message.

If that seems awkward for you to use, an alternative wording would be:

He has never taken, and will never take, such strong measures.

This construction puts the second assertion's "not ever" together (with "never") while the first puts "will not" together (negating the verb "will" with the n on "nor" in front of it).

I think the alternative might be a little better at reaching a broad audience, as some folks have difficulty parsing "nor" especially when it's not paired with "neither."

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